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Using Archetypes

Carl Jung is the psychologist who has most influenced the modern understanding of an ancient concept, the archetype. These are the roles and characters that we and others adopt as we live our life stories. Though each of us lives a unique story, many if not most of the situations we humans find ourselves in have common themes. The roles we play in those situations are drawn from a shared human repertoire: father, mother, child, lover, creator, warrior, caregiver, and an untold number of others.

Different individuals and cultures may favor the expression of some of these archetypes over others. CAPT provides an assessment instrument designed to measure the relative dominance of different archetypal themes. The Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator® (PMAI®) helps individuals discover the archetypes they prefer, and those whose potential they leave untapped.

The PMAI can be used for personal development and self-understanding as well as product and personal branding.

Personal Development

Each archetype has its strengths and its weaknesses and its appropriate and inappropriate uses. Unused archetypes are like treasures buried inside of us, waiting to be discovered. The Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator, or PMAI®, is a map to those treasures. The PMAI report shows you which archetypes you favor and which ones you under use. With a more diverse set of characters to choose from, you can consciously "cast" the right role for the right situation.

Here is an example of using the right archetype in the right situation.

A Lover, Not a Fighter
Lover and Warrior are two of the twelve archetypes measured by the PMAI instrument. High scores on Warrior may be appropriate for a competitive sales job, but problematic in a relationship (where Lover is a better fit) or in a work environment that values harmony.

The other ten archetypes identified by taking the PMAI are Innocent, Orphan, Caregiver, Destroyer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Sage, Seeker, and Jester. Discover your archetypal profile online or learn more from the book What Story Are You Living?.


The PMAI can be valuable in determining branding strategies for products and marketing.

Product branding—the creation and promotion of a public image for one of the company's products or services—is most successful when the identity chosen reflects both the company brand and the brand preferences of the product's customers. Archetypal branding, which resonates with customers at the deepest levels, is a fast-growing approach that has produced such successful product launches as the Chrysler PT Cruiser.

The PMAI is a valuable branding tool when used to measure the archetypal profiles of potential customers and to help craft brand messages that will appeal to them.

Personal branding—the concept that "we are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. You're every bit as much a brand as Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop" has taken hold since Tom Peters first wrote those words in a Fast Company article in 1997. The PMAI is being used in corporate training to help individuals find a self-branding identity that resonates at a deep level.

To learn more about product branding and archetypes, order the book The Hero and the Outlaw.